Now, let’s fast-forward through about a week... During that week, we received some much-needed help from new friends. There is a local pastor named Witney who has helped us, along with his friend, Sylove, who has taken me shopping twice. She knows both Creole and English and has helped make sure I get good prices. Then, there is a student named Johnson who has provided transportation help since we don’t have a vehicle. And, we have Romain and Celine who are here to help us every day. We have also received a lot of help and encouragement from the Bundy family, who are local missionaries through OMS (One Mission Society). The Bundys have children the same ages as two of ours. In fact, Elli and Danielle will be in the same classes in school as two of their daughters. Last but not least, the owner of the house we are renting visited and helped resolve several problems.
We were able to set up our power supply more efficiently. See, we quickly learned that running our generator around the clock would be very costly. Gas runs the generator and around here, it costs about $4 per gallon. One tank of gas in the generator was lasting 11 hours and the tank holds about 6 gallons. You can do the math! There was no way we could keep that up. So, after getting information from other folks, we learned that we needed to buy batteries that would power the house through a device called an inverter. Basically, the generator charges up the batteries and then you turn off the generator and switch on the inverter and use the energy from the batteries. We had to buy six batteries, which provide power for up to 10 or 11 hours, depending on how fast we deplete them. For example, we can use the inverter and batteries through the night when all we’re running are three fans (we unplug the fridge from 9 pm - 6 am). But, during the day, when the fridge is running, the water pump is on, and I’m using the microwave, then we might only get 5 or 6 hours. Needless to say, we are quickly learning to be very frugal with how we use electricity!
After a couple of restless, hot nights, we went out and purchased three large fans. One for each of our bedrooms. It seems simple, but it makes a HUGE difference.
We were also able to get our water supply fixed. A plumber fixed the leaks in the pipes outside and also found a toilet that was leaking. We’d fill up the reservoir tank during the day and have water for showers that evening, but then have nothing at the faucet in the morning. The problem was that toilet that had a bad seal was leaking water all night and draining the tank! So, now we only have to use the pump once every three days or so to fill up the tank. There is no hot water, so we’ve all had to get used to cool baths/showers. It’s actually pretty refreshing when the days are so hot. When I need hot water for washing dishes, I heat it up on the stove (which uses gas).
Tropical Storm Isaac also visited us late that week. We thought at first we might experience our first hurricane, but the storm went just south of Haiti, hitting Port-au-Prince pretty hard, but mostly missing us on the north side of the island. We had cooler temperatures for a couple of days (which was a nice break) and rain for about 24 hours straight, but that was it. We are also sheltered here by some mountains, which was helpful because we didn’t get much wind.
|The view of Isaac coming in from up on a nearby mountain.|
Another simple fix we’ve managed is getting screens attached to the doors in our house. All the windows have screens, which is a blessing. But during the days, we opened up the doors and the mosquitos got in. We’d wake up with 5 or 6 new bites each every morning and itch all day! (And yes, we were using repellent. I’d like to think it was helping. Maybe if we hadn’t used it, we’d have woken up to 10 or 12 new bites each day??) I know that malaria is a big health issue here, so we had to do something... The doors all have a solid wooden door on the inside and an outside door of iron bars. Using zip ties, we attached screens to those iron bars. So, during the day, the breeze can come through, but the bugs can’t! Ha! We still manage to get mosquito bites here and there when we go outside, but at least they aren’t feasting on us through the nights!
Things are improving every day. And, every day I feel more and more like I can make it through this year. There is one thing we’re still praying BIG about, though.
Remember the truck that we sent on a container a few weeks ago? The one that church family blessed us with for work here in Haiti? It arrived about 5 days ago. BUT. Customs here doesn’t work like it does in the States. Here, they are still trying to decide how much money they want to charge us to release it. Maybe it will be $400. Maybe $4000. We don’t know. We are praying that the contacts we’re using will be able to negotiate a price we can afford and that they’ll determine that price SOON.
Thank you for praying with us and for us! And thank you for all the words of encouragement you send our way. It’s so reassuring to know we aren’t alone or forgotten. We miss you and think of you every day. We're sending prayers back at you, too. We heard that rain from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac is headed toward our hometown this weekend, so we're praying you're all as sheltered as we were!
|A quick shot of our three kiddos. Celine did Danielle's hair in braids.|
Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.”
|Loved this stone stairway. Taking one step at a time right now!|